By SKIP BANDELE
RUMOURS THAT the 50 million euro hotel and sports project, headed by former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, will be relocated from the Bensafrim area, near Lagos, to Spain have been denied.
Investment group representatives and Câmara President Julio Barroso have denied the allegations that the Centro Internacional de Estágios Desportivos project could be moved across to Spain.
The allegation is believed to have been instigated after it was revealed that there was a dispute between the Dutch owners of the original site in Corte de Bispo, Bensafrim, and
Alternative arrangements have now been made to construct the project to the south-east of the city. The project features three hotels, residential development, a football stadium with a capacity of 8,000, six training pitches, a golf course and academy, tennis courts, spa and a horse riding centre.
The investors had intended to begin construction this year and the first phase of the project was expected to be completed by 2010. These deadlines hang in the balance until final approval has been given.
A câmara spokesperson said: “Everything is being done to move the project forward and we are close to an agreement”.
If there is no agreement between the câmara and the Eriksson-headed group, other companies will be waiting in the wings, including the actual owners of the land, who have expressed an interest in developing the project.
Final approval of the project is expected soon but there are still obstacles in the way, including the fact that the site is located on protected land.
Meanwhile, the dispute which cast doubts over the future of the planned 60 million euro five-star hotel and sports complex in Alvor, co-funded by a consortium of Portuguese football stars, appears to have been resolved.
Work on the seven-hectare site adjacent to the private hospital in Alvor has commenced and is expected to be completed next year.
As was reported in The Resident’s edition of November 25, 2005, the Hotel Alvor Baia is expected to feature an additional 400 apartments as well as outdoor and indoor swimming pools, a health club, spa, congress centre and sports fields.
A total of 50 per cent of its investment capital will come from the Jorge Mendes-managed quartet of Portugal internationals Deco, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira.
The high profile involvement of the Barcelona, Manchester United and Chelsea stars will no doubt ensure the presence of many fellow footballers as well as fans at the new resort during future holiday months.
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